Interlodge Conditions at Snowbird & Alta


Interlodge Conditions at Snowbird & Alta

Heavy Snow and Avalanches Cause Interlodge Conditions in Utah

First things first; what does Interlodge mean? An Interlodge event is when snow levels are so great and avalanche danger is so extreme that patrons and employees of a resort are confined to resort buildings while avalanche control and snow mitigation is underway. Leaving buildings, even to get to your own car, is considered illegal because conditions are so dangerous.

Most Interlodge events are pre-planned and last only a couple of hours. But this week, Little Cottonwood Canyon saw 63 inches of snow from Monday Through Wednesday, causing both Alta Ski Area and Snowbird to close and be under an Interlodge mandate for 60 hours. Three days of monster snow totals buried anything and everything its path. Apparently, there can be ‘too much of a good thing.’

The Road to Nowhere

One of the major contributing factors to the multi-day Interlodge at Snowbird and Alta was avalanches. Yes, plural. A barrage of unstable snow pounded SR-210, the only road in and out of Little Cottonwood Canyon and access to the resorts. Workers from Utah Dept. of Transportation (UDOT) tried to clear the path repeatedly, but the snow didn’t let up and neither did the slides.

Avalanches bury maintenance vehicles in Little Cottonwood Canyon (photo courtesy of @johnegleason)

Even snowcats like the one pictured above were no match for the moving snow. Luckily, no one was injured, but avalanche danger was, and still is extremely high in the area. UDOT captured some video of one of the slides on Tuesday just before it came across the road.

Brighter Days Ahead!

The sun comes out and ends the Interlodge on 2/18 (photo courtesy of Facebook)

The 60-hour Interlodge was lifted on Thursday 2/18, however it would still be a few more hours until the road into the canyon would be clear and open. Everyone that was stranded for the entire 60-hour Interlodge pause would be rewarded with “Country Club Conditions.” Oh, did I mention it went blue, too? Totally worth the wait.

“Those that spent hours twiddling their thumbs, staring out the window finally scored a full day of country club skiing & riding. We appreciate your patience and we’re glad you had your day.” Snowbird via Instagram

Well deserved pow day at Snowbird for everyone on lockdown (photo courtesy of Facebook)

Let us know what you think! Would you trade some good old Interlodge lockdown for the pow day to end all pow days? Were you one of the “lucky ones” stuck at Alta/Snowbird? Tell us your thoughts and share your pics. Tag us on the Instagram @TheSnowReport or post in our Facebook group!